Initially we are draw to our yoga practice because of it's physical benefits. It doesn't take very long to find ease around our aches and pains as well as building strength and stamina. This ancient practice offers us so much more and as we deepen our practice it can be fascinating to look at yoga through a different lens - that of our energy body and the chakra system.
This blog post gives an introduction to the chakra system and there will be an exploration of each one individually in more depth in following posts including journalling prompts, essential oils and crystals to support you in your exploration.
Chakras are the words that the ancient yogis used to refer to energy centres in the body and the past decade or so has seen modern science catching up with this fascinating area. You can’t see your chakras - they wouldn’t show up on an x-ray or during an autopsy so, when you practise yoga to activate each area in the energetic body you don’t want to think too much about them or be analytical and instead aim to be open to experiencing what you are feeling.
The psychologist Carl Jung (1875-1961) who developed our western understanding of this area, argued that an individual must be open to the parts of our self beyond our own ego, if we are to undergo profound personal growth. Are you ready?
The belief is that when energy flows through our body via the chakras, we are resilient and able to cope with what life throws at us. Just like a central heating system sometimes the pipes get blocked and things get stuck and stagnant so it is in our energy body - when our energy gets blocked we can find ourselves stuck in old patterns feeling stagnant.
If you lean into more scientific explanations Joe Dispenza describes these energy centres as seven hormonal systems in the body. Each one has its own frequency, its own glands, hormones, and makes its own chemicals - like having their own mini brain - a cluster of neurons that is associated with each of these centres. If we live by the hormones of stress, these energy centres will be affected and our body goes out of homeostasis and balance, and we start moving towards ill health. This can be physical, mental and spiritual.
So that’s enough analysis for now - if you'd like to explore where they are here is a youtube practice helping you to locate them.